Olympic Task Force Submits Report

The eight-member Olympic Task Force submitted its recommendations on preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to the government. It was set up by Sports Ministry.

The task force includes Abhinav Bindra, Pullela Gopichand ,Om Pathak, S Baldev Singh, GL Khanna, Rajesh Kalra and Sandeep Pradhan.

Following are the main recommendations:

1. The task force made a point strongly that all recommendations should apply to Para athletes as well. Towards that, the report itself has been titled “Preparation of 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games”.

2. Set up an Empowered Steering Committee (ESC) to drive all initiatives. This body will be solely responsible for ensuring proper preparation for Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This body should also have full financial autonomy.

3. An internationally acclaimed High Performance Director (HPD) be appointed to work with the Empowered Steering Committee.

4. Removing cap on salary for Indian coaches and support staff. Former athletes should be encouraged to return to coaching/support staff/technical field through deputation from various organisations. While this happens, they should retain their seniority in their respective organisations.

5. Pradhan Mantri Gold Card should be issued to the elite potential athlete & their coaches as an identity of being a ‘National asset’. This card will also provide facilities for emergency quota for air/train/bus tickets and hassle free access at various places.

6. A special cell within ESC should be established to take care of all the logistical issues for athletes, so they can concentrate on training alone.

7. Sports Science to be accorded top priority. It must play a key role in assisting HPD. Coaches to deliver results. It will ensure all sportspersons have access to the latest in the world, be it medicine, nutrition advise, anti-doping, etc. Athletes should also have access to a 24×7 NADA helpline where they can seek advice on any doubt.

8. Primacy of Athletes and Coaches to be maintained at all times. ESC and HPD to work towards creating an environment that allows them to deliver. Would include infrastructure, equipment, training camps and all else.